Ouchie.

I’ve been spending so much time in front of the computer lately that I messed up my back and had to stay home from work. It feels like someone used my kidneys for punching bags. When my kids came home from school this afternoon they took turns walking up and down my back in front of the TV, which made the pain at least tolerable for a few hours. Right now I’m helping myself to a big heaping glass of awamori on the rocks so I’ll be drunk enough to sleep despite the pain. (If sake is “rice wine” then awamori is “rice whiskey.” I like the flamable stuff. It exfoliates my intestines.)

Back pain has to be pretty close to the worst pain there is. It’s hard to think of anything other than how much it hurts. I can understand why some people with chronic back pain lose the will to live.

On the bright side, the next time I have a bad day I’ll be able to say to myself, “Things could be worse. At least my back doesn’t hurt.”

Rich Pav

Richard has been living in Japan since 1990 with his wife and two teenage sons, Tony and Andy.

15 thoughts to “Ouchie.”

  1. Hang in there, Rich! (I would advise against having your wife walk on your back – from the videos, she looks like she wears some mean looking high heels!)

    As for worse pain… πŸ˜‰ my vote is for kidney stones – here’s hoping you never have to deal with those!

    Seriously: get well soon!

  2. ouch, get better soon Rich. I have terrible posture while I’m at the pc myself, and I’m sure it will catch up to me sooner or later. I correct myself whenever I realize it, but I usually don’t realize it until after the fact.

    So I guess besides telling yourself that it could get worse, you can also tell yourself how you helped to remind others to correct their mistakes 😑

  3. When I had the bone-on-bone pain of lost cartilage in my hip joint, I was unable to sleep until I found this trick: leave the TV on; it can be to a channel with white noise or a regular channel. Without this distraction, all you focus on is the pain. With it, the pain appears mitigated. Of course, the vodka helped all by itself on some nights! Hang in there. -Bill

  4. Shochu is still my favorite. I’ve never had awamori, but i’ll be sure to try it next time I go to Japan. I may be able to find it here (NC) but i doubt it. I got hooked on shochu on a temporary duty assignment in Kumamoto on kyuushuu. Lots of fun down there. Drank way too much for about a month.

  5. Awamori! Yeah! What brand…down here in Okinawa… people suffer back pain BECAUSE of Awamori overindulgence…my favorite brand hails from Irabu Jima, Hounen (Bountiful Years) made by Tokuyama Shuzou…you were probably drinking something like Kumesen? (Most popular brand)…it is great you can get the stuff outside of Okinawa nowadays

  6. Rich I hope you get better! Just keep on doing what you have to do to get better!
    I’m in Florida for two more days and I’m avoiding your podcasts and videocasts because I want to go home, click in iTunes and have like 3 downloads from “Herro Flom Japan”, can’t wait. I know I’m weird! lol

  7. Back pain is the worse! Don’t you hate it when your own body turns against you and you get a pain someplace without even provoking it? Then you don’t even have a cool story to go with it like, “We where running fast as we could from the bulls but I turned right when I should of turned left and…”. Nope, all we get as we age is, “I spent a long day slouched like Quasimodo over my computer keys then, OUCH!”
    Feel better soon!
    P.S. I love your videocast(s).

  8. Hey, Rich, it might be a slight kidney infection. I’ve noticed I get those every once in a while as I get a little older – especially if I lack sleep. My solution are these little natural supplements of concentrated cranberry. Cranberry is a natural antibiotic and is well-known for curing urinary tract infections. I use a brand called Mega Potency 10,800 Cranberry. Each pill has 10,800 concentrated cranberries in it. I’m not trying to endorse anything and I’m not saying you have an infection but if your kidney area hurts, take two of these every morning for a few days and see what happens. They work for me!

  9. Mike: reading about those pills reminded me of Violet Beauregarde in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” πŸ™‚

    Rich: Mike is right — kidney issues often causes back pain (stones can feel like you were knifed in the back).

  10. I’ve thought about getting a kneeler chair but haven’t yet found one here that’ll accommodate my long legs.

    What I really need to do is get more exercise to strengthen my back muscles.

  11. @Mike: Monday morning I was sure it was my kidneys but once my kids took turns stomping up and down on me I realized it was my back. I guess from now on I’m just going to have to get used to my body not working the way it’s supposed to all the time.

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